BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prescribing the guidelines for the accreditation, obligation and protection of community disaster volunteers in the city, providing funds and for other purposes.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab states that the accreditation of community disaster volunteers shall conform with the fact that the local government, through the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), shall lead in organizing a corps of community disaster volunteers in the city.
Among the minimum qualifications of volunteers include being a bonafide resident of the city, 18 to 65 years of age, physically fit, a volunteer member of the barangay or any accredited peoples organization, non-government organization and civil society organization, must have knowledge in trainings on community first aid and basic life support and/or community action for disaster response and emergencies or volunteer fire brigade; and that identification cards shall be issued for such purpose.
Under the proposal, the amount necessary for the effective implementation of the ordinance shall be identified primarily by the CDRRMO and incorporated in the amount appropriated for the said office.
The ordinance tasks the CDRRMO to strictly implement the pertinent provisions of the proposed measure to help in enticing more volunteers to actively participate in disaster response and mitigating activities spearheaded by the city government.
The ordinance noted that local government units are authorized under the general welfare clause of the Constitution and other related laws necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.
Section 13 of Republic Act (RA) 10121 otherwise known as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council provides that government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector and local governments may mobilized individuals or organize volunteers to augment their respective personnel compliment and logistical requirements in the delivery of disaster risk reduction activities.
Further, concerned stakeholders shall take full responsibility for the enhancement, welfare and protection of volunteers, and shall submit the list of volunteers to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), through the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices, for accreditation and inclusion in the database of community disaster volunteers.
The ordinance added that the national roster of volunteers, national service reserve corps, civil society organizations and the private sector shall be maintained by the OC through the LDRRMOs and that accreditation shall be done at the municipal and city levels.
On the other hand, the ordinance stipulates that mobilization of volunteers shall be in accordance with the guidelines to be formulated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) consistent with the provisions of the law and any volunteer who incurs death or injury while engage in any of the activities defined under existing laws, rules and regulations shall be entitled to compensatory benefits and individual personnel accident insurance defined under the guidelines. By Dexter A. See